O'Connor achieved worldwide success in with a new arrangement of Prince 's song " Nothing Compares 2 U. Since then, while maintaining her singing career, she has occasionally encountered controversy, partly due to her statements and gestures. These include her ordination as a priest, despite being a woman with a Roman Catholic background, and strongly expressing views on organised religion , women's rights , war, and child abuse.
In addition to her ten solo albums, her work includes many singles, songs for films, collaborations with many other artists, and appearances at charity fundraising concerts. In , O'Connor changed her name to Magda Davitt. After converting to Islam in , she changed it to Shuhada' Sadaqat.
In O'Connor left her mother and went to live with her father and his new wife. In some ways, she thrived there, especially in the development of her writing and music, but she also chafed under the imposed conformity. Unruly students there were sometimes sent to sleep in the adjoining nursing home, an experience of which she later commented, "I have never—and probably will never—experience such panic and terror and agony over anything.
Her brother Joseph defended their father to the newspaper but agreed regarding their mother's "extreme and violent abuse, both emotional and physical". Sinead said that month, "Our family is very messed up. We can't communicate with each other. We are all in agony.
I for one am in agony. She recorded a song with them called "Take My Hand" but they felt that at 15, she was too young to join the band. Together they recruited a few other members and formed a band called Ton Ton Macoute.
Their sound was inspired by Farrelly's interest in world music , though most observers thought O'Connor's singing and stage presence were the band's strongest features. O'Connor's time as singer for Ton Ton Macoute brought her to the attention of the music industry, and she was eventually signed by Ensign Records. Soon after she was signed, she embarked on her first major assignment, providing the vocals for the song "Heroine", which she co-wrote with U2's guitarist The Edge for the soundtrack to the film Captive.
O'Ceallaigh, who had been fired by U2 for complaining about them in an interview, was outspoken with his views on music and politics, and O'Connor adopted the same habits; she defended the actions of the Provisional IRA and said U2's music was "bombastic".
Her first album The Lion and the Cobra was "a sensation" when it was released in  and it reached gold record status and earned a Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammy nomination. She was also noted for her appearance: her trademark shaved head, often angry expression, and sometimes shapeless or unusual clothing.
NME , March . Pre-dating but included on I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got was also "Jump in the River", which originally appeared on the Married to the Mob soundtrack ; the inch version of the single had included a remix featuring performance artist Karen Finley.
The album received mixed-to-poor reviews, and was a commercial disappointment in light of the success of her previous work. Also in , she was criticized after she stated that she would not perform if the United States national anthem was played before one of her concerts. Frank Sinatra threatened to "kick her in the ass". In an interview with The Guardian published 3 May she reported that her singing lessons with Merriman were the only therapy she was receiving, describing Merriman as "the most amazing teacher in the universe.
The more conventional Universal Mother did not succeed in restoring her mass appeal; however the music videos for the first and second singles, " Fire on Babylon " and "Famine", were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video. The Gospel Oak EP followed in , and featured songs based in an acoustic setting. This was a two-night concert at Carnegie Hall produced by Roger Daltrey of The Who in celebration of his 50th birthday. In her documentary, Song of Hearts Desire , she stated that her inspiration for the song was her friend, a lesbian who sang the song to lament the loss of her partner.
This compilation contained one disc of demos and previously unreleased tracks and one disc of a live concert recording. Directly after the album's release, O'Connor announced that she was retiring from music.
Ultimately, after a brief period of inactivity and a bout with fibromyalgia , her retirement proved to be short-lived. Thirty fans were given the opportunity to win pairs of tickets to attend along with music industry critics. The album, a collection of covered and original Rastafari spiritual songs, was released in June She planned an extensive tour in support of the album but suffered a serious breakdown between December and March ,  resulting in the tour and all other musical activities for the rest of being cancelled.
The second single "4th and Vine" was released on 18 February In February , it was revealed that O'Connor had been recording a new album of original material, titled The Vishnu Room , consisting of romantic love songs. The title derives from the Ban Bossy campaign that took place earlier the same year. The album's first single is entitled "Take Me to Church". She sang an a cappella version of Bob Marley 's " War ", which she intended as a protest against sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church , referring to child abuse rather than racism.
Saturday Night Live had no foreknowledge of O'Connor's plan; during the dress rehearsal, she held up a photo of a refugee child. SNL writer Paula Pell recalled personnel in the control booth discussing the cameras cutting away. He ordered that the applause sign not be used. During his opening monologue the following week , Catholic-raised host Joe Pesci held up the photo, explaining that he had taped it back together, to huge applause.
Pesci also said that if it had been his show, "I would have gave her such a smack". When Catholic-raised Madonna appeared later that season on SNL , after singing " Bad Girl ", she held up a photo of Joey Buttafuoco  and, saying "fight the real enemy", tore it up.
Madonna also roundly attacked O'Connor in the press for the incident, telling the Irish Times : "I think there is a better way to present her ideas rather than ripping up an image that means a lot to other people. After Madonna had herself gowned, harnessed, strapped down and fully stripped to promote her album Erotica and her book Sex , O'Connor stole the spotlight with one photograph of a fully clothed man.
But the other vilification that descended on O'Connor showed she had struck a nerve. Bob Guccione, Jr. Madonna savaged her in the press, obviously to fuel publicity for Sex and sales of her new album, Erotica … But when the Sinead controversy threatened to siphon some of the attention from the impending release of Sex , Madonna conveniently found religion again Madonna is probably the hugest role model for women in America.
There's a woman who people look up to as being a woman who campaigns for women's rights. A woman who in an abusive way towards me, said that I look like I had a run in with a lawnmower and that I was about as sexy as a Venetian blind. Now there's the woman that America looks up to as being a campaigner for women, slagging off another woman for not being sexy. During the booing, Kris Kristofferson told her not to "let the bastards get you down", to which she replied, "I'm not down.
She called for the keyboard player to stop and the microphone to be turned up, and then screamed over the audience with an improvised, shouted rendition of "War",  which she stopped just after mentioning child abuse, emphasizing the point of her previous action. She then looked straight to the audience for a second and left the stage. Kristofferson then comforted her, as she cried. In January , O'Connor made an appearance on the British late-night television program After Dark during an episode about sexual abuse and the Catholic church in Ireland.
Host Helena Kennedy described the event:. Then I got a message in my earpiece to say she had just turned up at the studio. O'Connor published an open letter, on her own website, to pop singer Miley Cyrus on 2 October in which she warned Cyrus of the treatment of women in the music industry and the role that sexuality plays in this context.
O'Connor stated:. The message you keep sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted… its so not cool Miley… its dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. We aren't merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers… that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career.
Fellow musician Amanda Palmer responded with her own open letter that was published on Palmer's blog. After Palmer stated that O'Connor continues to be an important influence since her teenage years, Palmer then addressed where O'Connor was "off target" in her correspondence to Cyrus. Speaking about her relationship with Prince in an interview with Norwegian station NRK in November she said, "I did meet him a couple of times.
We didn't get on at all. In fact we had a punch-up. I made it without him. He summoned me to his house — and it's foolish to do this to an Irish woman — he said he didn't like me saying bad words in interviews. So I told him to fuck off He got quite violent. I had to escape out of his house at 5 in the morning. He packed a bigger punch than mine. After her conversion to Islam, O'Connor called those who were not Muslims "disgusting" and criticised Christian and Jewish theologians on Twitter in November She wrote: "What I'm about to say is something so racist I never thought my soul could ever feel it.
But truly I never wanna spend time with white people again if that's what non-muslims are called. Not for one moment, for any reason. They are disgusting. Later that month, O'Connor stated that her remarks were made in an attempt to force Twitter to close down her account. I was triggered as a result of islamophobia dumped on me. I apologize for hurt caused. That was one of many crazy tweets lord knows. While her shaved head was initially an assertion against traditional views of women, years later, O'Connor said she had begun to grow her hair back, but that after being asked if she was Enya , O'Connor shaved it off again.
So even when I'm an old lady, I'm going to have it. She had her first son, Jake, with her first husband, music producer John Reynolds ,  who co-produced several of her albums, including Universal Mother. Reynolds and O'Connor married in She later wrote the song My Special Child about the experience. O'Connor was married a third time on 22 July , to longtime friend and collaborator Steve Cooney ,   and in late March made the decision to separate.
Her fourth marriage was to Irish therapist Barry Herridge. They wed on 9 December in Las Vegas, but their marriage ended after having "lived together for 7 days only".